Gold compass leaning against a wooden window frame

Dark Angels Note 120

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Friday Note.



This week we’re celebrating the birthday of English author, Philip Pullman (born 19 October 1946).

After reading English at Oxford, Pullman became a teacher before concentrating on writing, mainly children’s and young adult novels and short stories.

He is of course best known for His Dark Materials trilogy which has been adapted for film, stage and a BBC drama series.

The series continues with The Book of Dust. This latest trilogy continues to chronicle Lyra’s life but is described as an “equel” rather than a sequel or prequel.



“Experience has got to be stored and meditated over, turned over occasionally before it’ll come out in what you write.”

Watch Philip Pullman in conversation with Ruth Wilson in Oxford, where they discuss His Dark Materials.



One of Pullman’s pieces of advice for writing is to find a way of writing that works for you.

“The most important part is the writing; don’t be tied to how you think you should write if it doesn’t produce anything.”

Where and how do you usually write? Is there anything you can try differently?

Go for a walk, sit on the ground under a tree, or pick a spot in a busy café, if that’s not what you usually do. Does that change the writing?



We Are Nature

We’ll be sharing more of the work from We Are Nature over the coming weeks. This week, we hear from Heather Atchison.


Tree teachings

Ten truths we can learn from trees


1. We talk about ‘protecting ourselves from the elements’, but the elements are what give us life. They are essential for growth.

2. Growth happens slowly, imperceptibly, taking its time before showing itself to the world. Its appearance can seem sudden – a bursting forth – but this is just one part of a gradual process.

3. What looks like an ending is often a beginning. In loss there can be beauty – and in decay, new life.

4. There is always light and shade, even when the night is at its darkest. What changes is the contrast between the two.

5. Know when to let go. This can be necessary to conserve essential energy – like trees shedding their leaves early in times of drought.

6. Creating abundance and giving to others is a way of ensuring survival.

7. In life, there is no true silence.

8. What’s most valuable is often invisible – living below the surface.

9. To truly flourish, it’s important to have space. But not so much that you lose communion with others.

10. Soy porque somos. This means ‘I am, because we are’. Everything is connected.

These are the teachings of the trees.


Heather Atchison

September 2022 – Aracena





26 Orphans: Creative Writing Workshop

As part of a project for writers’ group 26 with the Foundling Museum in London, devised by John and called 26 Orphans, John & Neil will be running a creative workshop based on Dark Angels thinking.

The workshop will be in the morning and in the afternoon there will be a tour of the museum with readings from some of the 26 writers involved. And it’s all part of the Bloomsbury Festival on Saturday 22 October.

You can find out more and book a ticket here through the Foundling Museum.


Writing With Constraints: London, 9 November

One way to make writing easier is to make it harder. That sounds illogical, but putting some obstacles in the way of your writing can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Whether you are a first timer, an experienced writer or all-round creative person, this will be an enjoyable and rewarding workshop. Find out more about the Writing with constraints workshop on the website.


Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..

From everyone at Dark Angels




Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash